Ten pm on a Wednesday night, March 5th, 2014. I hear the rain falling outside. I didn’t expect it and am thrilled. It’s been a tough day– Cormac was sick to his stomach for the first half of the day and threw up four times (our first real stomach sickness). At nine pm Ansel woke up with a cough that sounds a lot like croup again. Luckily I have a husband who knows exactly what I need– he brought home some Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream. That, plus a North Coast Brewery Old Stock Ale (probably my favorite beer) and a funny Saturday Night Live (featuring Beck!) during dinner made me feel much better.
Our boys are experimenting with more words: they’ve mastered “uhoh” and are working on “bath” and “boom”. They love the Diggers Go book that we checked out of the library: its last page is “The wrecking ball goes BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.”
I’m pleasantly surprised at how much the boys manage to communicate without words. We see/hear a lot of grunting and pointing nowadays. Some of my favorite non-verbal communications are when they see something they know they’re not supposed to touch (like a used diaper or a pile of dirt while I’m sweeping) they’ll stand or crouch near it and point at it, as if to say “Did you know that this is sitting here, tempting me? Take it away!” Today I was looking for one of Coco’s socks and asking out loud “Where is Coco’s sock? He had it on earlier but it’s disappeared!” Finally I look at Cormac who is pointing and grunting at the dirty laundry basket– there it is! he must have put his sock in earlier when I wasn’t looking.
Cormac was super-affectionate today since he felt so poorly. He spent a lot of time in our laps or while we’re sitting on the floor he would come over and lean his head and upper body onto our back in a low-key hug/I don’t feel so good kind of way. Ansel’s copycatting habit worked to our benefit as sometimes he would be inspired to come over and do the same thing after seeing Cormac doing it. Additionally Ansel has his own kind of hug where he runs over and aggressively hugs/tackles Cormac. I can’t figure out if it’s loving, exuberant or annoying, especially to Cormac, who sometimes ends up crying after being bowled over by one of these “hugs”.
It actually feels like a sort of unique experience to look into their eyes and know that they’re understanding so much of what I say, even though they cannot respond in words. Earlier in the week I caught Ansel putting things into the trash. Worried that he was throwing away dishes or toys I looked and it turns out he was throwing away scrap paper. Somehow, without our ever teaching him, he figured out what was appropriate to throw away. Except, of course, scrap paper should go in the recycling bin instead. I explained that to him and since then he’s been putting it in the recycling bin. :)
Tonight I found the “Cat” flash card next to the cat’s scratch box in the kitchen. It’s most likely a random coincidence that the card ended up there, but I wonder whether they might have put it there on purpose.
Part of our pediatrician’s concern about their lack of words is that they might end up having more tantrums because they can’t communicate. Tantrums are coming, but so far I feel blessed with two boys who go with the flow a lot of the time. They do experiment with tantrum-like behavior. These experiments seem to run counter to their normal natures. As you probably know already, overall Cormac is more sedate and laid-back and Ansel likes to move a lot. When Ansel’s upset and doesn’t want to do what we want he tends to go limp and play dead. Whereas when Cormac doesn’t want to do what we want he has a tendency to kick his legs frenetically.
The other day Dan shared an anecdote about the boys with me: he was telling the kids a story about an animal with a tail and they each patted their bottom where their tails would be if they had them (without our explaining.) He mentioned to me how smart they were to figure that out on their own. I agree, sort of. They do seem super smart to us. I think this is because we’ve been with them since the beginning. When they come out of the womb they can’t do hardly anything beside breathe, eat, poop and cry. To watch two little beings evolve from glorified worms into sentient little humans would convince anyone that their children are the smartest in all the land. :)
I am at home with them full-time this week because our nanny is traveling. I was worried it would be hard, but I’m having a great time. I still very much enjoy and appreciate my part-time job but I’m so happy I have the opportunity to stay home and be with our little guys this week.